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Identification of Failure Regions for Programs with Numeric Inputs

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Document pages: 17 pages

Abstract: Failure region, where failure-causing inputs reside, has provided manyinsights to enhance testing effectiveness of many testing methods. Failureregion may also provide some important information to support other processessuch as software debugging. When a testing method detects a software failure,indicating that a failure-causing input is identified, the next importantquestion is about how to identify the failure region based on thisfailure-causing input, i.e., Identification of Failure Regions (IFR). In thispaper, we introduce a new IFR strategy, namely Search for Boundary (SB), toidentify an approximate failure region of a numeric input domain. SB attemptsto identify additional failure-causing inputs that are as close to the boundaryof the failure region as possible. To support SB, we provide a basic procedure,and then propose two methods, namely Fixed-orientation Search for Boundary(FSB) and Diverse-orientation Search for Boundary (DSB). In addition, weimplemented an automated experimentation platform to integrate these methods.In the experiments, we evaluated the proposed SB methods using a series ofsimulation studies andempirical studies with different types of failureregions. The results show that our methods can effectively identify a failureregion, within the limited testing resources.

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